Edward Cowie – String Quartet No. 3 ‘In Flight Music’ (New Version 2010)
Hang-gliders, Stanwell Park, NSW, Australia – Vapour Trails – Hummingbird Hawk Moths, Maurens, France – Raptor Thermals,mainly Eagles! (Dordogne, France)
Kreutzer Quartet- Peter Sheppard Skaerved-Mihailo Trandafilovski-Morgan Goff-Neil Heyde
Live Performance-Wilton’s Music Hall 21st October 2013 (Engineer Jonathan Haskell-Astounding Sounds)
Review of this performance:
Kreutzer Quartet, Wilton’s Music Hall, London: Beethoven, Sadie Harrison, Edward Cowie and Michael Finnissy
Tempo March 2014
Continuing the theme of pieces inspired by artwork, on 21 October 2013 the Kreutzer Quartet gave the first performance of Edward Cowie’s new version of this Third Quartet, In Flight Music (2013), which grew out of a series of related drawings by the composer, his preferred modus operandi. First completed in 1983, the work was recently republished, and this provided an opportunity for the composer to amend, or as it turned out, virtually rewrite the entire score, retaining only fragments of the original version and adding fresh framing material. In Flight Music preserves the four-movement plan of the 1983 version, whilst including a connection with flight, a long-standing interest of Cowie’s. Hence, the first two movements (‘Hang-Gliders’, Stanwell Park, NSW, Australia’ and ‘Vapour Trails’) are concerned with aspects of humans in flight, whilst the last two deal with insects and birds, respectively. All four players were sensitive to the changing moods of Cowie’s piece, from its opening, wide-eyed, almost Dvo?ák-like, soaring melody for the first violin, through the delicately traced patterns of the slow movement and the motoric scherzo, to the wide-ranging, multi-textured finale. This composer’s renowned in choral and vocal repertoire has tended to eclipse his accomplishments in other fields; on the strength of this fluent and inventive 22-minute example, he has an intuitive grasp of the medium’s traditions and potential.